Here at Ashbourne Day Nurseries, we’re dedicated to the training and development needs of our staff as well as their health and wellbeing.
With over a million children in nurseries and pre-schools across the country, we feel it is important that investment is made to ensure that high quality childcare is deliverable in a sustainable way. This will help to ensure that every child who attends a nursery gets the best start in life.
Training and development
We encourage our nursery teams to take advantage of the NVQ courses that we offer including level 2 and level 3 childcare courses as well as level 5 leadership and management courses.
Our practitioners attend Continues Professional Development (CPD) sessions regularly which leads to better self-confidence and outstanding practice. We feel that when our practitioners are more confident, they are more likely to want to suggest new concepts or ideas to try.
The policies and procedures on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults are always changing. It is therefore essential that our practitioners are aware of any changes to help keep children and vulnerable adults safe.
We encourage our staff to progress their career with us through in-house promotion opportunities. We have nursery managers who joined us as early years practitioners who have progressed up the ladder from practitioners to room leaders, and then from room leaders to third in charge. Staff will then progress from the third in charge to deputy manager followed by nursery manager.
The training that we offer in addition to the focus that we place on the health and wellbeing of our staff are a couple of the reasons why we have a high level of staff retention.
We also conduct employee surveys on a regular basis to understand the views of our team and actions that we can take to boost their wellbeing and job satisfaction, resulting in higher levels of staff retention.
We run a weekly #ThankYouThursday initiative where parents and staff can leave kind and positive feedback about any colleague throughout the group. This feedback is then passed on to the relevant person through their manager.
We also have a praise section in our bi-weekly staff communication. This is used as a platform for public praise of teams or individuals who have gone above and beyond.
Keeping up with changes to guidelines and legislation
Our world is constantly changing with new guidelines and legislation being introduced.
On 25th March, this year, ‘The best start for life: a vision for the 1,001 critical days’, a review into improving the health and development outcomes for children under 2 years, was published.
The review covers six action areas which are designed to help make things easier for busy parents and carers. Action areas include offering seamless support for families with family hubs and providing information for families when they need it.
Other actions include developing a skilled workforce which meets the needs of families and providing leadership for change.
Training nursery practitioners to create cosy home from home settings
We look to create hygge spaces within our nurseries which support the emotional wellbeing and development of the children within our care and have provided training for all our nursery teams on creating environments that are comforting while being engaging.
Hygge is a Danish and Nordic word which cannot be translated exactly into English, but it encompasses feelings of cosiness, togetherness, and wellbeing.
When designing their spaces our teams look through the eyes of a child providing cosy corners and areas for the older children to create dens. While also providing opportunities for babies to crawl inside a cosy enclosed area to help them feel safe and secure.
Using frames to display artwork mimics what the children may see in their own homes, combining this with a range of warm and comforting textures as well as a range of living plants can create a natural sense of tranquillity.
This helps to create a home-from-home atmosphere which can reduce any anxieties that children may have, especially after spending a considerable amount of time at home with reduced social interaction with others outside their household.